NYC Climate Advisory Board Appointed in December

New York City’s Climate Mobilization Act, which includes Local Law 97, was passed in April 2019, as part of the City’s goal of making New York City carbon neutral by 2050. In December, the newly created 15-member Climate Advisory Board met for the first time, tasked with providing advice and recommendations toward the implementation of the new legislation.

“Progressive cities like ours must lead the way on climate change, and that’s exactly what this Council did with Local Law 97. The Council is proud of its appointees to the Climate Advisory Board and looks forward to working with them and with the administration’s appointees to continue the fight against climate change,” said City Council Speaker Corey Johnson.

“We are proud to take a leading role in executing the Green New Deal,” said Department of Buildings Commissioner Melanie La Rocca. “We look forward to working with a broad range of stakeholders to help establish best practices to tackle the largest source of our city’s emissions, our buildings. We owe it to future generations to meet the challenge of global warming head-on.” Buildings currently account for approximately two-thirds of greenhouse gas emissions in NYC.

The Local Law 97 Advisory Board is made up of architects, engineers, property owners, representatives from the business sector and public utilities, environmental justice advocates, and tenant advocates. In addition to providing guidance, the Advisory Board is also required to prepare and submit periodic reports on the results of implementation once the law is fully in effect.

The City’s goals are ambitious and laudable, but they will take time, effort and expense to implement. We are working closely with all our client boards to start early and budget wisely to meet the target dates set for by the City and to avoid any fines by meeting requirements in a timely manner.

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NYC’s Climate Mobilization Act meets the challenge of global warming head-on. Currently, buildings account for about two-thirds of greenhouse gas emissions in the City.

Low-Cost Options for LED Lighting

One of the options for reducing your property’s energy budget—and helping to improve the Energy Grade that the City gives it—is to replace existing lighting with LED bulbs. And there are currently numerous incentives being offered by ConEd and other entities to help offset the cost of converting to LEDs.

Increasing your building’s energy efficiency will not only help avoid future fines, as New York City implements the increasingly stringent rules of its Climate Mobilization Act, but will also add value to every apartment, as buyers look to own in those properties that can demonstrate a commitment to sustainability and reducing their carbon footprint.

As one of the easiest and least costly ways of addressing energy efficiency, converting to LED lighting should be part of your building’s sustainability initiatives.

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NYC’s New Climate Mobilization Act

On April 22nd, 2019 Mayor DeBlasio signed into law the Climate Mobilization Act (CMA), affecting all buildings over 25,000 square feet throughout New York City. This is the City’s third significant piece of legislation designed to reduce Greenhouse Gas Emissions in New York City by 80% by the year 2050. The CMA follows “plaNYC2030” in 2011 which eliminated #6 oil and spurred the oil-to-gas conversions in NYC buildings, and the “oneNYCplan” in 2015, which introduced Local Law 84 (Benchmarking) and Local Law 87 (Energy Audits and Retro-commissioning), both designed to further incentivize buildings to reduce their energy consumption and carbon emissions.

The first year of enforcement is 2025, and will be based on each building’s energy usage in 2024, compared to a citywide baseline of 2005. Most buildings will require significant capital expenditures to become compliant with these new regulations. In an effort to help building boards and owners finance these upgrades, the New York City Energy Efficiency Corporation (NYCEEC) is creating a low interest, long-term funding program that will hopefully be available to all housing sectors.

It’s imperative that all buildings begin now—if they have not already—to learn about their current energy efficiency level and to plan and begin to implement a long-term strategy of compliance in order to avoid paying fines when the enforcement period begins in 2025. Every CMA Plan should begin by reviewing the building’s LL84 Benchmarking report, which will reveal its EnergyStar score and upcoming Letter Grade, which will be issued in 2020. By verifying the parameters used in the Benchmarking report, buildings can be sure that the score is accurate; scores take into account number of units, number of bedrooms, square footage and other facts about the building, so it’s important to be sure the City has the correct information. Each building’s Energy Audit and Retrocommissioning Report also includes a series of Energy Reduction Measures, with projected savings, estimated budget, and payback period. This is a key list of where to begin to reduce energy consumption and improve the building’s score.

We will keep all of our properties apprised of the ongoing developments of the Climate Mobilization Act. The goal of reducing emissions is a worthy one, but it will certainly take time, effort and significant investment. At DEPM, we will work continuously with our building boards and owners to help meet these requirements as they continue to evolve.

For more information on this legislation, visit this link:

Climate Mobilization Act

Multifamily Solar Array

It’s imperative that all buildings begin now—if they have not already—to learn about their current energy efficiency level and to plan and begin to implement a long-term strategy of compliance in order to avoid paying fines when the enforcement period begins in 2025.

 

City Code Compliance Update

Keeping up with New York City’s ever-changing building regulations is a full-time job. That’s why our compliance department is constantly on top of new Local Laws and other safety issues that impact the properties we manage. Due to the expansion of the City’s façade inspection regulations, properties need to inspect and repair their exteriors on a regular basis to ensure the safety of balconies, parapets, brick, stone and other materials that overhang the sidewalks.

The City’s Benchmarking program continues to expand in an effort to reduce carbon emissions throughout the five boroughs. Starting in 2020, buildings will be given “grades” from A to F, based on how energy efficient they are. These ratings may impact property values, adding to the incentive to improve energy conservation efforts in areas from lighting to heating and air conditioning.

Another new City regulation requires that all automatic elevators have “door lock monitors” installed and operational by January 1, 2020. The purpose of the monitors is to prevent elevators from operating unless the all the doors are closed on every floor of the elevator shaft. It also prevents the exterior elevator doors from opening if the elevator cab is not at that floor. The new safety requirement is designed to prevent anyone from being caught in an elevator door while the car is moving, or from falling into an open elevator shaft.

At Douglas Elliman Property Management, client safety and building compliance are of paramount importance. Your building manager is working to ensure that your property meets all City regulations. If you have any questions about building code compliance, don’t hesitate to contact your manager or our office at 212-370-9200.

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New regulations from the Department of Buildings—from façade maintenance to elevator safety—are designed to protect residents and avoid accidents.

NYC to Rate Your Building’s Energy Efficiency

Under the new Local Law 33 of 2018, New York City will begin to assign letter grades to buildings rating them on their energy usage, and by 2020 that information will become public.  Under the City’s expanded “Benchmarking” regulations—set out in Local Law 133 of 2016—owners of all buildings over 25,000 square feet must report water and energy consumption annually through the City’s online portal (https://www.energystar.gov/buildings/facility-owners-and-managers/existing-buildings/use-portfolio-manager). Failure to report can carry fines of up to $2,000 per year.

The City will use the reported information to create metrics to track and compare the energy efficiency of similar buildings, and ultimately will release a rating for each property, which will be available to the public. A better rating will have a positive impact on property values, giving owners an incentive to take action to cut back on water and energy consumption, as part of the City’s goal to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 80% between 2005 and by 2050.

We at DEPM care deeply about energy conservation and have instituted many improvements in our client buildings, including converting boilers from oil to gas, replacing incandescent lights with energy saving LED lights, installing new windows and more. Our managers are working with all their properties to implement conservation initiatives and to prepare for the energy grades. For more information on the City’s Benchmarking program, visit https://www1.nyc.gov/site/buildings/business/benchmarking.page

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New York City will soon begin giving out letter grades to all buildings over 25,000 square feet, rating their energy efficiency. This “Benchmarking” info will become public in 2020, and could impact property values. Now’s the time to to implement energy-saving programs in your property.

Rate Your Building’s Energy Efficiency

Beginning in May, the City’s “Benchmarking” regulations will be expanded to include all
buildings over 25,000 square feet (under the earlier version of the law, buildings of less than 50,000 were not required to benchmark). As part of Local Law 133 of 2016, which expanded LL 84, owners must report water and energy consumption annually through the City’s online portal (https://www.energystar.gov/buildings/facility-owners-and-managers/existing-buildings/use-portfolio-manager). Failure to report can carry fines of up to $2000 per year. The City will use this information to create metrics to track and compare the energy efficiency of similar buildings, and ultimately will release a rating for each property, which will be available to the public.

A better rating will have a positive impact on property values, giving owners an incentive to take action to cut back on water and energy consumption, as part of the City’s goal to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 80% between 2005 and 2050. We at DEPM care deeply about energy conservation and have instituted many improvements in our client buildings, including converting boilers from oil to gas, replacing incandescent lights with energy saving LED lights, installing new windows and more. Our managers are working with all their properties to implement conservation initiatives in the coming year. For more information on the City’s Benchmarking program, visit https://www1.nyc.gov/site/buildings/business/benchmarking.page

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New York City’s Benchmarking program is part of the Greener, Greater Buildings Plan to reduce carbon emissions.

Oil-to-Gas Conversion Update

In 2011, the NYC Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) issued regulations phasing out the use of “dirty” fuel oils No. 6 and No. 4. Effective immediately was the provision that all new boilers and burners must use clean fuel: natural gas, No. 2 oil, biodiesel or steam. All buildings must convert by January 1, 2030, or whenever their existing system needs replacement. The last three-year Certificates of Operations for buildings burning No. 6 oil will expire July 1, 2015, somany buildings are up against an impending deadline.

When the NYC Clean Heat plan was initiated, the City estimated that 10,000 buildings would need to convert to cleaner fuel. These buildings—just one percent of the City’s properties—create 86 percent of the building-produced soot pollution, an environmental and health threat that can lead to fatal heart and lung conditions, including asthma.

Already half the buildings have converted to cleaner fuel, leaving just 5,000 left to do so, and this change has resulted in the best air quality in New York city in more than 50 years. But the conversion itself can be both complex and expensive. Many buildings wishing to convert to cleaner and cheaper natural gas, have been unable to do so because they don’t have the required gas lines, and are thus forced to switch to No. 4 oil while waiting for Con Ed to complete the infrastructure work, which they expect to take five more years (see Area Grown Map). As Con Ed runs the pipes,
buildings in the zones pictured may be able to connect at no cost. Gas service requests may be made through Con Ed’s website to determine the time frame and costs involved, if any.

DEPM is working with our client buildings to be sure they meet conversion deadlines. For more information on program requirements, deadlines and assistance, contact your DEPM Account Executive or visit NYCcleanheat.org, coned.com/gasconversions or edf.org/cleanheat. Or call us at 212-370-9200.

Con Ed expects to run gas lines to buildings in the areas of Manhattan shown on the map below by the dates in the color-coded key. Buildings must request gas service from Con Ed using their online request form at ConEd.com/es. If you are in the Bronx or Queens, visit bit.ly/ConEdmap to see your borough’s map.

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Con Ed expects to run gas lines to buildings in the areas shown by the dates in the color-coded key. Buildings must request gas service from Con Ed using their online request form at ConEd.com/es.

 

Save Fuel, Water and Electricity With Boiler and Utility Monitors

In our ongoing efforts to improve efficiency and energy conservation in all our properties, Douglas Elliman Property Management (DEPM) is constantly seeking out the latest tools and technology. Recently, we have implemented two types of systems that are on track to produce significant cost savings for the buildings where we are testing them.

In several buildings, we have installed heating controls on the boilers that allow the super, manager or board members to monitor heat levels any time, from anywhere. Using a computer, a smart phone, or any Internet access, we can log in and view the temperature in the buildings. This information helps us to prevent overheating, and keep temperatures nice and steady. The cost of the new equipment is reduced by 50 percent through a conservation rebate program, resulting in a payback period of less than two years.

According to Steve Stadmeyer, Manager of a building complex in Sunnyside, Queens that has installed these boiler controls, “We hired an independent engineering firm to analyze the projected annual savings, and they have estimated that these controls should reduce fuel costs by 15 percent.”

Carl Reinlib, General Manager of London Terrace, another DEPM-managed property, reports that heating sensor controls were installed there in February. “Preliminary results show that we are already seeing savings over previous years. In addition, the increased ability to monitor the system helped uncover other inefficiencies that needed correction.” This summer, London Terrace will embark upon their mandatory conversion from “dirty” No. 6 oil to a much cleaner fuel combination of gas and No. 2 oil.

This type of proactive energy policy has a huge impact on the City as a whole, by reducing greenhouse gas emissions, and on the buildings themselves, by reducing energy consumption and significantly reducing energy costs. The end result for residents is improved comfort and better budget controls.

A second level of monitoring has also been implemented in a number of DEPM properties. Using a unique digital application, we can now track water, electric, gas and oil usage in buildings where we have implemented this system. Boards and managers can then view and compare usage from the current year to previous years, as well as comparing the building’s usage to that of other buildings in the City.

This information helps us focus on where there are inefficiencies, and how we can correct them. Thus we can help our buildings reduce consumption and save money, while also improving their ability to forecast their utility budgets. Once we’ve made energy improvements, we can see how much savings have resulted, and make informed decisions about how to proceed in other properties.

If your board would like to view the monitoring sites, please contact us at info@ellimanpm.com or through our Facebook page at Facebook.com/DouglasEllimanPropertyManagement.

In many DEPM-managed buildings, including London Terrace in Manhattan, we're using technology to monitor and conserve fuel, electricity and water use.

In many DEPM-managed buildings, including London Terrace in Manhattan, we’re using technology to monitor and conserve fuel, electricity and water.

Take the Carbon Challenge And Help Reduce Greenhouse Gas Emissions

Launched in 2007, the City’s ambitious PlaNYC program laid out long-range plans for improving the quality of life in New York City. In the years since, huge strides have been made toward achieving many of these goals, from cleaner air to more comprehensive recycling. An important part of this plan is the “NYC Carbon Challenge,” whose goal is to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 30 percent by the year 2030.

Residential buildings are the largest single contributor to the City’s GHG emissions, accounting for 37 percent. As leaders in our industry we recognized our responsibility to advocate for positive change in the City, and Douglas Elliman Property Management became an active Participant in the Carbon Challenge.

Since joining the program in January, we have embarked on meeting the Multi-Family Property Challenge goal of reducing emissions by at least 30 percent over ten years in at least 15 of our managed properties. We expect to far exceed that goal, and are already well on our way as more of our clients recognize the impact they can have in creating cleaner, safer air.

Nearly a year ago, DEPM was recognized by the NYC Clean Heat program, another facet of PlaNYC, for converting over 75 percent of our managed properties to cleaner fuel. As one of the few property management firms on the Clean Heat Task Force, we have worked hard to convert our properties from highly polluting No. 6 and No. 4 fuel oil to cleaner sources of heat, such as No. 2 oil, natural gas, biodiesel or steam. Not only are these buildings helping to improve the air quality in their neighborhoods, but in many cases they are saving money as well.

There is plenty that multi-family buildings can do to help make the Mayor’s Carbon Challenge a reality. Start by visiting the website at http://www.nyc.gov/html/gbee/html/challenge/multifamily-buildings.shtml and download the Handbook for Co-ops and Condos at http://www.nyc.gov/html/gbee/downloads/pdf/handbook_for_co-ops_and_condos.pdf for tips on the benefits of conservation, and how to make changes in your building that will save both energy and money.

Properties that participate in the program will receive a free mini-energy audit to help them get started. For more information, please call our in-house expert Vice President + Architect Peter Lampen at 212-370-9200 or email peter.lampen@ellimanpm.com.

Help build a cleaner New York City: Take the Carbon Challenge!

Visit nyc.gov and download the handbook to learn what Co-op and Condo owners can do to help reduce carbon emissions and improve the City's air quality.

Visit nyc.gov and download the handbook to learn what Co-op and Condo owners can do to help reduce carbon emissions and improve the City’s air quality.